Skyhigh 13 ch21 C64 Hardware

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         c64 hardware - upgrade

yeppa here we go!

in the last issue of this magazine, i
gave you a little sneak-preview of some
new wonderfull hardware for the good old
before that another magazine had done an
article over the new disc drives.

just recently i recieved a sending from
my cool friend from finland : electric!
(i guess no further introducing should
be necesseray!!!)

in his note he encouraged me to tell the
scene some more. but see for your self!
(i hope, and i know it's ok that i use
a bit of the note tommi!!!)

" i've (electric -ed!) sent you the list
from cmd direkt sales, please put these
prices in your mag! it'd be nice to
start using 3.5'' disks in the scene.
anyway, if we don't get an import-firm,
we must get 'em by ourselves. there's no
sense in ordering a single fd4000, so we
should make a big order from every coun-
try. i've been asking all finnish c-64
dudes about this, but they DON'T HAVE
MONEY or so on!
anyway this thing is important for the
existence of our scene. if we could get
4mhz to our computer, we'd beat the pc
in speed of vectors etc! "

as told then this was a part of a note
by electric/extend sent to me (biz kid)!

well i couldn't have said it better my-
self. electric is highlightening all the
true and important facts!
i believe just as him that this will be
THE chance to make the our scene live up
to a new era!!
about an import-firm!! yep again he's
absolutely right! we have to buy big. in
this way we, the users, might save some

guess what? i know which firm who'll do
that!!! yep, ofcoz it's  :


but they would like to know how many are
interested. if not enough people want to
upgrade their c64, then it'll be to
expensive and then......
but read it later in this chapter!

     -  -- ------------------ --  -

but before you are able to answer this
question you will have to be filled in
with some informations! you know what?
i got lot's of information for you right
here and right now!!

following article was written for the uk
c64 magazine 'commodore format' by the
manager of EBES : russ michaels!
and now exclusive for all you readers, i
bring it here in skyhigh!

     -  -- ------------------ --  -

who needs to upgrade to another machine
when you can upgrade your c64?
whether it's speed, extra memory or
better sounds and graphics you're after,
there are add-ons for the commy that
soup up its performance to match any
16-bit machine. wanna hear some more ?

your c64 is one mean machine and don't
let anybody say otherwise. but if you do
know any mockers or unbelievers, show'em
this feature, and that'll silence'em.
curb any dastardly thoughts of upgrading
to an amiga and stop people wibbling on
about the awe-inspiring specs of the
SNES, 'cos there is some impressive hard
ware available for the c64 that'll make
commodore's premier machine kick some
serious butt.
the problem with the c64 is its public
image. to most people it's an old-
fashioned, naff-looking computer with
only 16 colours, a measly 64k of memory,
and a tape deck. man, it's so ancient
and so slow, and there's no new software
doesn't sound too impressive, does it?
and that is exactly the set-up that most
c64 owners have. so who can blame people
for being sceptical? and is it such a
wonder that the demise of the c64 is
constantly being predicted?
well wake up people and smell roses, coz
it doesn't have to be this way...

* 16 colours? pah. the standard number
of colours on the c64 is 28 without any
sort of tricks or programming, just a
bit of colour mixing. and when you start
interlacing you get over 1024 colours.
not bad, eh?
* what about the measly memory? okay, so
that's how much your c64 comes with, but
who says it has to stay that way?
what would you say if i told you that
you can have 16 megabytes of memory?
that's 16.384k or 16.777.216 bytes.
well believe it!
* and how about that ancient tape deck?
who needs it? why not just get an 800k
3.5 inch floppy disk drive; that's 3200
blocks of storage space, or in high den-
sity mode, 1.6mb (over 6.500 blocks).
* or if you want serious storage space
then how about a hard drive? ranging
from 40mb to 1000mb,they provide from
163.840 to 4.096.000 blocks. but what
about the speed, because we all know
that da access speed of commodore drives
isn't much cop? well, that's been sorted
too. just insert a jiffydos chip into
your drive and  voila, you have speed.
wondrous, isn't it? so what is all this
stuff? well, it's called hardware and a
lot of it has been available for ages
from the good ol' us of a, but it just
hasn't had much exposure in the press.
but now's the time to set that to rights
here are a few of the more impressive
add-ons you can get for your c64...

              R A M L I N K

this is the chappie that allows you to
have between 1mb and 16mb of extra memo-
ry (ram). on the internal ramcard are 4
slots, each of which can house either a
1mb or a 4mb simm (available from any
computer system/hardware supplier.)
RAMLINK has a built-in ram port so that
you can connect existing ram expansions
units or georam. it's also a pass-thru
port which allows you to connect you
RAMLINK has it's own built-in dos and
acts like a ram-based disk drive, which
means blindingly fast access, 400 times
faster than a common-or-garden 1541 disk
drive, in fact, and you can access it
with standard commodore dos commands as
though it were a disk drive (exept, of
course, the access will be instant).
so what practical use does RAMLINK have?
imagine you favourite multiload game -
how long do you have to wait between
levels, loading sequence, title sequence
etc? too long, that's how long.
but you don't have to put up with it.
you could transfer the entire game onto
RAMLINK so that the whole game is in
memory at once, and so there would be no
waiting whatsoever - when you complete
level one you'll go onto level 2 immedia
how about you serious computer users?
what about having your word processor,
database, spreadsheets and whatever otha
utilities you feel like all booted into
the RAMLINK in one go; now you can just
swap from one to the other. no more
resetting your computer and loading the
other programs one at the time; you can
use them all at once. how can you live
without such a luxury?
those are da advantages of using RAMLINK
with the excisting software, but what
about the future releases? if loads of
c64 users owned RAMLINK then more soft-
ware would be written specially to take
advantage of capabilities. no memory
limitations means bigger games with bet-
ter graphics and sound. check out our
mean machine demo on this months power-
pack. (this is a demo putted together by
electric boys entertainment software for
commodore format to show all the non-
believers. it's 5 or 6 parts all in all!
this is just an example, it could have
been almost any other demo!! - biz kid!)
those two interlaced pictures take up
almost the entire memory, so graphics
like that can't be used in a game. but
with a RAMLINK, no problem. and with
such possibilities what software company
could resist the opportunity to start
releasing software geared for the device

             J I F F Y D O S

this handy little beast is a disk drive
speed enchancement system, which enables
loading speeds up to 15 times faster
than normal loading speed.
JIFFYDOS is a replacement chip set for
your computer and drives rom,which means
it is an integrated part of your system,
therefore making it fully compatible and
unaffected by copy protected programs
that would normally disable yer fastload
-and because JIFFYDOS is internal, you
still have your cartridge ports free, so
where your action replay becomes ineffec
tive JIFFYDOS keeps on going.
JIFFYDOS is the only system compatible
with all 1541, 1571, 1581, fd and hd
drives in 64 and 128 mode. not only does
it provide speed enchancement, but also
its own built-in disk operating system,
simple keystroke commands to perform all
disk functions (like format, load, save,
verify, scratch, etc) toggling between
printer and screen output, a two-drive
file copier.. the list goes on.basically
you can have an ms dos enviroment for
your c64/128, and it's all built-in as
soon as you install the chip (which is
simplicity itself). and once you have
the replacement chip in your computer
all you need is one in each drive unit
to make them all fylly compatible. can
you live without one? probably,but think
how much better living with one would be

            FD2000  -  FD4000

these 2 floppy disk drives (that's what
the fd stands for if you hadn't worked
it out yet) are high capacity 800k 3.5''
models, both of which are fully 1581
compatible and also have 1.6mb storage
modes. the FD4000 has a 3.2mb storage
mode as well - that's an amazing 3.276k
on one floppy disk. a higher capacity
than even machintoshes or amigas have what's the use of all these
different modes? well compatibility for
one thing. the fd will emulate 1541,1571
and 1581 drives, or you can format your
disks in the high capacitymode only for
use with the fd drive itself. and if you
upgrade from 2000 to a 4000, you can
still use your old disks. good, huh?
not only that, but you can also format
your disks in 1.44mb and 2.55mb formats
for use with ms-dos computers (in other
words, you will be able to transfer text
and data files between your c64 and a pc
though not programs).
but still you may wonder, why would i
want a 3.5 inch drive, and what use is
so much disk space? surely this is just
too much of a good thing (unless you're
giving them away the drives, of course)?
here's an answer i prepared earlier, to
convince you that these floppy disk
drives are worth paying good money for..
your 5.25 inch disks and 1541 disk drive
are, of course, infinitly better than
cassettes, and all software still comes
through on 5.25 inch disks, but these
disks do take up an awful lot of space,
and you tend to get only one program per
disk when you buy commercial stuff. but
if you had a high-capacity 3.5 inch disk
drive, in 800k mode you could store five
sides worth of stuff from a 5.25 inch
disk on a 3.5 inch disk. in 1.6mb mode
you could store the equivalent of 10
sides, and in 3.2mb mode you could store
the equivalent of 20 sides!
so if you transferred all your tapes,
utilities, pd software etc onto 3.5 inch
disks how much easier it would be to
find a specific program; instead of hav-
ing 100 disks to look through, you would
have only, say, 10. and of course those
3.5 inch disks are a lot more sturdy and
less likely to bend or corrupt. you can
partition your disks into subdirectories
to make accessing a lot easier, with one
directory for each variety of game or
but don't let this deter you from having
a 1541 or similar 5.25 inch drive, becoz
you still really ought to have one (and
if you haven't got one - why not??).
if you had only a 3.5 inch drive you
wouldn't be able to transfer da software
to begin with, as most of it is produced
on 5.25-inch disks.

           H A R D D R I V E S

these are the big boys on the block.most
pc owners need one of these drives just
to use some software (even basic stuff
like address books or word processors),
but you can have one just because you
want one - proving once again the advan-
tage of having a c64.
imagine not having to use floppy disk at
all, because that's how it would be. you
could put your entire softwarecollection
on the HARD DRIVE and load whatever you
want without ever having to move away
from your computer(this is a good bit of
hardware for couch potatoes especially).
and, as with the fd drives, you can
partition and sub-directorise. the speed
of the HARD DRIVE is unsurpassed, and
when connected to a parallel port on the
RAMLINK it rivals the speed of pc hard
drives - in other words, loading in the
blink of an eye.
the size of these drives range from 40mb
to 1.000mb. a 40mb HARD DRIVE is equal
to 246 sides of a 5.25 inch disk, and
that's the minimum. think what you could
do with 1.000mb !!
okay, so that much disk space might seem
a bit exessive, but let's say you want
to start a bulletin board system (bbs).
to be able to have a decent amount of
software on-line then you would definit-
ly need a hard disk. or, if you run a
public domain library, think how much
easier it would be to have your entire
disk collection on just one drive; all
you'd need to do is to copy the games
straight from hard disk to floppy -
easy, fast and efficient.
you could say that the hard disk is an
alternative to the RAMLINK. with extra
capacity and speed your software will
run much faster and more smoothly, but
you really need to be a die hard c64/128
fan to appreciate what a hard disk has
to offer.

well, the future is in your hands, folks
-  -- ---------------------------- --  -

well, folks, there you have it.with just
this brief overview, you can now see how
much more there is to your commodore
than you might have thought. those who
believed there was little life left in
the ol'box, will be biting their tounges
now, and this is just the beginning.
there is much more to this hardware lark
than we've covered here.
ah, but i see another question quivering
on your lips. what good is the hardware
when there's no new software 2 use on it
well, surprise, surprise, there is years
and years -worth of disk-only software
available 2 you that you problably never
knew existed, from the usa and all over
europe, and companies like mine, EBES
(electric boys entertainment software)
are doing our darnedest to make sure it
gets to the uk. and there's still new
software being produced by these foreign
companies right now.
now the catch - at present all this
amazing hardware is only available from
the usa,and to order it from there would
cost you a small fortune, by the time
you have included the postage, packaging
customs and excise, tax ... but fear not
EBES to the rescue. we have agreed with
creative micro designs, the company in
the states who produce this hardware, to
be their uk distibutors and provide all
you lot with all the gadgets you will
ever need to make your commy your pride
and joy, not to mention the envy of all
your snes-, megadrive- and amiga-owning
friends who thought the c64 was just a
but alas, there is one hitch. before we
can do this, we need to know if you lot
actually want to upgrade your c64s. as
we've hopefully pointed out there really
is no need to upgrade to a new machine
because this hardware will allow the c64
to wipe the floor with all the competi-
tion. if we get enough response, then we
will go ahead with importing this hard
ware; if not then sorry, but we are not
so, basically it's over to you now. so
you want to invest in the c64's future?
or let it go the way of the dinosaurs?
we're not saying that this hardware is
the ultimate solution for getting da c64
back on top of the home computing pile,
but it's one of the best chances it got.
and it's a blimmin'good chance if enough
people get behind it.

  interested? then write to us here at:

           917B BRIGHTON ROAD
             SURREY CR8 2BP


yep that's it fellows. biz kid is back
on the keyboard.
so what do you think? doesn't this just
sound fantastic??? my advice to you is
to contact EBES as soon as possible to
let them know that you're interested!
can't you all see that dis is THE chance
for the c64 scene. think of the possibi-
lities! imagine a turrican kind of game
with cool grafix, dozens and dozens of
levels, superb music (samples??) and no
loading time whatsoever. everything is
in the memory!!!

i hope all of you would invest the money
in our scene and it's future by buying
some of these wonder cadgets!

ok time for the serious part : prices
remember these prices are if you buy it
direct from the states. if enough people
are interested and contacts EBES the
price will most deffently be lower!

   ramlink with 0mb ramcard  $ 199,95
   ramlink with 1mb ramcard  $ 259,95
   ramlink with 4mb ramcard  $ 379,95
   hd-40   85mb              $ 495.00
   hd-100 170mb              $ 595.00
   hd-200 245mb              $ 695.00
   fd-2000 (800k- 1.6mb)     $ 179.95
   fd-4000 (800k- 1.6/3.2mb) $ 249.95
   jiffydos c64-system       $  49.95
   jiffydos sx64-system      $  49.95
   jiffydos c128-system      $  59.95
   jiffydos 128d-system      $  59.95
   additional drive roms     $  24.95

yep i guess that's really it this time.
well think about it and and remember to
support the scene.

       i'm outta here   biz kid!!
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